While Google’s virtual reality division is working on its upcoming Daydream VR platform and reference design – essentially a much more advanced version of Cardboard built on Android 7.0 Nougat – it seems the company still has ambitions for other high-end headsets.
Back in February, it was reported that Google was working on a standalone virtual reality headset that required no phone, computer or games console to power it. The device was reportedly set to feature a display, outward-facing cameras, high-powered processors, and its own operating system separate from Android. But a report by Re/Code Friday claimed the VR headset project had been shut down.
However, a report from Engadget citing sources within Google says the company isn’t just focusing its VR resources on Daydream, as it “is not the company’s long-term plan for virtual and augmented reality.” Apparently, the search giant is still developing a standalone VR headset and has been actively assigning individuals to work on it these last few months.
It seems the shuttered headset in the Re/Code article is a different one to that which was reported earlier in the year. Google is apparently still working on the standalone device, which is now thought to combine augmented reality abilities alongside VR, potentially pitting it against Microsoft’s Hololens.
Google is one of several big tech companies to have invested in augmented reality firm Magic Leap; the startup has raised $1.4 billion from the likes of Alibaba group since it was launched in 2010. Whether Google somehow incorporates Magic Leap technology into its headset remains to be seen.